The new Mailbox app arrived to great fanfare, with promises to revolutionize the iPhone email experience by most efficiently managing messages and maintaing Inbox zero. However, unlike a typical email app, Mailbox is something more than a client that resides on your phone. Which is both a strength and a weakness.
On one hand, it allows the company Orchestra to do a variety of clever things on their server backend – such as redelivering messages one chooses to deal with at a later date (as pictured above). However, that effectively puts a startup between you and Gmail (which is the initial service they support). Now I don’t doubt their intentions and strategy to maintain user privacy, but security is hard. Real hard. And much larger companies with security teams or departments regularly fall victim to attack and compromise. And, as security expert Brian Krebs suggests, Mailbox becomes “another potential layer for failure” by entrusting them with with our data.
I’m not certain most folks recognize Mailbox is effectively a man-in-the-middle. So consider this a PSA worth contemplation as you wait in line for access. Also a consideration for Gmail power users is the app’s inability to handle tags. As for me, my golden ticket arrived a day or so ago and, while I don’t have state secrets flowing through my Gmail and don’t effectively use tags, I’ve held off and will keep my faith solely in Google’s two-step authentication and servers. For now. What about you?